It’s probably obvious that a discussion on the end time is very unlikely to proceed to any great length without including references to Matthew 24. Such is the case with the 10 Road Signs of Dooms Day – A Countdown of Deception. We now address the seventh of these signs offered in “Beginning of the End” by John Hagee. The reason we focused on these signs is not because of the author, but because of the influence of the system of eschatology, i.e. Dispensational Premillennialism‘s detrimental effects on society and foreign policy.
And, although the system is dying, it yet has a death-grip on many of its adherents. No, we are not so naive as to believe we’ll change the hearts and minds of many die-hards, great shifts are occurring in eschatology from the theological schools to the pulpits and pew. Their house is divided, sits on a foundation of sand and its just a matter of time before it completely caves in.
The reasons are those as we’ve been covering. The issue is their total disregard for simple time statements and interpretive rules when studying the Bible. Today’s post is an example of the same.
Days of Deception Predicted as a Sign of the End
The issue is not whether the Bible predicted that many would be deceived in what Scripture describes as the last days. That is a given. We accept any and every text properly understood in advance. Jesus taught plainly, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” Matthew 24:4-5. Note also verses 22-26.
Also, we accept as fact that people today are deceived individually and in mass. That is not the issue. They were in the times before Christ, they are today and will be as long as there are people on the earth. Merely being deceived is not the issue. What the endtime focuses on is the time and nature of that deception. In other words, the deception must be directly related to the context and fall within the time qualifications of the text.
Overthrow of the Temple, End of the Age and the Parousia
The apostles asked specific questions about specific events which result in Christ giving very specific answers about the same. They wanted to know when the temple would be destroyed and the signs of his coming (parousia) and the end of the age. Thus, Christ answers, many would be deceived regarding those events. Deceivers would dupe people into believing they were the Messiah during the times before the temple fell in the end of that age.
Jewish historian Josephus, who recorded the siege upon Jerusalem wrote concerning those who had been misled in relation to the event.
“A false prophet was the occasion of these people’s description, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should received miraculous signs of their deliverance.
Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care bu such hopes.
Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from the miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such deliverance.”
Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend, nor give credit, to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciation that God made to them. ” (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 5, Sec. 2, 3.)
“The New Testament also documents deceivers in the first century who misled people prior to the fall of the temple. “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. he also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.” (Acts 5:36-37).
In addition Paul wrote that in the last days, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Time. 4:6). These texts were all written before Jerusalem fell in 70 AD. Thus, repeatedly was the church warned against these end times impostors, Jas. 1:16, 2 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 2:7. Revelation, written before Jerusalem fell, is replete with references to deceivers.
10 Road Signs of Dooms Day – A Countdown of Deception
So, the message of the end times in the Bible and first century history fully documents the deception of that age related to the fall of the temple and Jesus’ parousia. That Christ did not intend for any to misunderstand, he wrote, “Assuredly I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. ” Matthew 24:34. Hence, all the passages about deception, especially in Matthew 24, are about deceivers in the first century.
In light of the above, one must not look for Road Signs of the end apart from the context of the ancient temple and its associated coming of the Lord at the end of that age. Speculations about the end and deceivers today are totally foreign to the context of the New Testament scriptures. For more information on how these prophecies were fulfilled get a copy of the Re-Examination.